Acute and Genetic Toxicity of Essential Oil Extracted from Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers.
Authors: Luo, Man; Jiang, Li-Ke; Zou, Guo-Lin
Source: Journal of Food Protection®, Number 3, March 2005, pp. 448-648 , pp. 581-588(8)
Abstract:Litsea cubeba oil is an aromatic essential oil extracted from the fresh fruits of Litsea cubeba (Lour.) Pers. It is used as a flavor enhancer in foods, cosmetics, and cigarettes; as a raw material in the manufacture of citral, vitamins A, E, and K, ionone, methyl ionone, and perfumes; and as an antimicrobial and insecticide. Based on the widespread use of L. cubeba oil, its insolubility in water, resulting in its partition in soil sediment, and its volatility when exposed to the atmosphere, risk of injury due to consumption and occupational exposure may be significant. In the present study, we studied the toxicity of L. cubeba oil with a battery of acute and genetic toxicity tests in Institute of Cancer Research mice and Sprague-Dawley rats. The oral, dermal, and inhalation 50% lethal dose and concentration (LD50 and LC50) of L. cubeba oil were determined. Results indicated that the oral LD50, the dermal LD50, and the inhalation LC50 are approximately 4,000 mg/kg of body weight, in excess of 5,000 mg/kg, and approximatively 12,500 ppm, respectively. We therefore conclude that L. cubeba oil is slightly toxic. In addition, the genetic toxicity of L. cubeba oil was assessed with Salmonella Typhimurium, by determination of the induction of micronuclei in bone marrow cells, and also by testing for chromosome aberration in spermatocyte cells of Institute of Cancer Research mice. The results of genetic toxicity testing of L. cubeba oil in vitro and in vivo were negative.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-03-01
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